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Genesys Regional Medical Center rejected a request for tubal ligation based on Catholic principles, despite the patient’s health concerns.

As painful as it was to hear, it finally seemed like the best option for Jessica Mann. Jessica had a serious tumor in her brain and her healthcare specialist had suggested in a subtle way that she needed to take some action to ensure that she does not end up getting pregnant again.

Mann, who is 33 years old, and due to deliver her third baby in the coming month, took a decision that while under the influence of anesthesia during her delivery, she would also get her tubes tied (tubal ligation). This procedure would help avoid any further pregnancies in Mann’s case.

However, the hospital in which Mann was admitted for delivery rejected her request. The Catholic hospital, Genesys Regional Medical Center, rejected the request for religious reasons. Catholic mandates do not allow or favor procedures that lead to sterilization. This includes vasectomies. The officials at the hospital claimed that Jessica’s case was no exception.

Mann was reported saying that she was shocked and also upset upon hearing this. On Friday, she filed a complaint in the form of a letter and sent it through the American Civil Liberties Union. In the letter, she threatened legal action. She was angry at the hospital authorities for disregarding medical and health issues because of old religious beliefs.

There has been an ongoing debate about religious freedom and the extent to which organizations and individuals that believe in faith can go in denying services to people who have conflicting beliefs.

ACLU Letter Written on Behalf of Jessica Mann

The administrators of the hospital suggest that Mann could give birth in the hospital. Then she could go ahead and plan another surgery elsewhere. However, Mann’s doctor has reportedly said that it would not be safe to undergo a separate surgery only weeks after a C-section that requires full anesthesia. This implies looking for another hospital or medical facility which agrees to execute both surgeries in one go in just one month prior to the due delivery date. Only if her health did not pose a problem, Mann, who is a Christian, would avoid such a procedure that would not let her reproduce again.

Religion and healthcare has also been an issue discussed in court as organizations are resisting a mandate by the Obama administration, which requires a majority of employers to provide coverage for contraceptives in the company’s health insurance plan.

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